Agenda and draft minutes

Improving Lives Select Commission - Tuesday, 27th October, 2020 5.30 p.m.

Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting

Contact: Martin Elliott, Governance Adviser  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

102.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

 

To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 September 2020 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

Resolved: - That the minutes of the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission held on 22 September 2020 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.

103.

Declarations of Interest

 

To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

104.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

 

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no items requiring the exclusion of the public and press.  

105.

Questions from Members of the Public and the Press

 

To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.

Minutes:

Mr Liam Harron asked the Chair to provide an update of the work of the sub-group of the Improving Lives Select Commission regarding the provision of support services for the survivors of CSE in Rotherham and asked whether the input of survivors would be included in the review.

 

In response the Chair provided details of the work of the sub-group, including its remit to benchmark services provided in Rotherham against those provided elsewhere, the membership of the group and the methods of research, noting that the review would involve members of the sub-group speaking to both elected members and officers at the authorities that had been selected for comparison. The Chair noted that as given the remit of the sub-group, the review would not involve survivors of CSE in Rotherham.

 

As a supplementary question Mr Harron asked about a request that he advised he had made previously to the Chair for her to meet with survivors of CSE and also how the results of the review conducted by the sub-group would be communicated with survivors of CSE.

 

In response the Chair advised that was happy to meet survivors of CSE at any time and that Mr Harron should contact her in order to arrange this. The Chair advised that the findings of the work being carried out by the subgroup would be reported at future meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission.

106.

Communications

 

To receive communications from the Chair in respect of matters within the Commission’s remit and work programme.

Minutes:

The Chair provided a short report on the June and September 2020 meetings of the Corporate Parenting Panel and a noted that a more detailed briefing note had been circulated to members.

107.

Elective Home Education pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services and the Assistant Director, Education, attended the meeting to provide a report on Elective Home Education (EHE) in Rotherham.

 

The Chair expressed her disappointment that the report had been submitted for consideration had not been focussed on the areas of concern that members of the committee had requested,  these had been to seek assurance that children who were being elective home educated were receiving an effective education and were also being safeguarded from harm.

 

The report stated that Elective home education (EHE) was the term that was used to describe a legal choice by parents to provide education for their children at home - or at home and in some other way which they choose - instead of sending them to school full-time. It was noted that in these circumstances the local authority had a statutory duty to establish the identities, so far as it was possible to do so, of children in their area who were being educated at home and as such may be at risk or not receiving a suitable education.

 

The Assistant Director, Education noted that there were many factors why a parent may choose to de-register their child from school such as their own philosophical position regarding how their child should be educated, or having concerns regarding the suitability of the school environment for their child. The Assistant Director noted that revised guidance had been received from the Department for Education regarding EHE had been issued to local authorities in 2019 but advised that further planned consultation with local authorities had been delayed due to the pandemic.

 

The Assistant Director noted the varying profile of children across Rotherham who were being educated at home included those who suffered from school anxiety and those whose parents made a philosophical choice to educate at home. The Assistant Director advised that the most recent figures showed an increase in the number of children being educated at home and noted that this mirrored a trend seen across the country during the pandemic. It was noted that the increase in numbers of children being educated at home had presented challenges in ensuring that all parents who were home educating received suitable support.

 

The Assistant Director advised that while the decision to home educate was that of the parent, that every step would be taken where possible to discourage this action and ensure that a child stayed on roll at a school.  It was noted that the regulations surrounding EHE were quite broad and were not prescriptive regarding what a “suitable education” was, and that it was the requirement of the local authority to ensure that each child received. The Assistant Director advised that if the education a child was receiving at home was not suitable or adequate then a school attendance order could be issued. The Assistant Director advised that a communication had been received from the Department for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 107.

108.

Rotherham Education Strategic Partnership pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services and the Assistant Director, Education, attended the meeting to provide a progress report on the work of the Rotherham Education Strategic Partnership (RESP).

In introducing the report, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services noted the remit of RESP was to bring together key partners from across Rotherham’s education system into a coherent and effective strategic partnership in order to maximise outcomes and improve life chances for children and young people, promote inclusion and reduce inequalities, and in doing so ensure that no school, child or young person in Rotherham would be left behind. The Deputy Leader advised that due to the pandemic, RESP had not had a full formal meeting for some time, but assured members that the objectives of RESP were still being pursued, with meetings between various stakeholders continuing throughout the period of the pandemic. The Assistant Director, who had only recently been appointed to the post confirmed that he would be the new Chair of RESP. 

 

A table that showed progress made against key activities and actions for RESP was attached as an appendix to the officer’s report.

 

The Chair welcomed the confirmation that the new Assistant Director would be the new Chair of RESP but noted her disappointment that report that had been submitted for consideration was very general and noted that it did not focus on the areas of concern previously highlighted by the Improving Lives Select Commission. It was noted that the areas that the commission had previously asked for further information on included how gifted and talented children were being stretched, as well as for specific detail on the impact that RESP was making to educational outcomes in Rotherham.

 

The Assistant Director, Education noted that despite the challenges that had been experienced for all of those involved in the provision of education in Rotherham due to the pandemic, communication and collaborative working had carried on throughout the period by members of RESP. The Assistant Director also noted that since taking up the post he had facilitated a meeting between the head teachers of local authority maintained schools to enable collaboration and the sharing of best practice, and that moving forwards he was keen to provide more opportunities for schools to work together collaboratively.

 

The Assistant Director advised that he would be working with the new Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services to discuss the future priorities of RESP and to establish how RESP would be managed in order to ensure that it worked in the most effective way to drive collaboration and improve outcomes across the education sector in Rotherham. The Assistant Director advised that once the revised priorities for the Rotherham Education Partnership and the timeline for their implementation had been established, they would be circulated to members of the Improving Lives Select Commission.

 

The Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

109.

Domestic Abuse Strategy - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, the Assistant Director, Community Safety and Street Scene and the Head of Community Safety and Regulatory Services attended the meeting to provide a progress report on the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Strategy 2017 – 20 and the activity that had been taking place in the development of an updated Domestic Abuse Strategy.

 

The report stated that the vision for the Domestic Abuse Strategy 2017 – 20, that had been developed in partnership with the Safer Rotherham Partnership, was: “In Rotherham we do not tolerate domestic abuse and as agencies, we will consistently identify risk, work to protect victims and address offending behaviour. In communities, we will promote the value of positive relationships and identify need, in order to focus on preventing conflict and abusive behaviours. Our services will work together, be responsive, evidence based and informed by those affected. Rotherham’s approach seeks to focus on improving the quality of relationships in the borough, whilst working to protect and support those already affected by domestic abuse.”

 

It was noted that within the strategy the vision had been broken down into a range of key objectives, and that in order enable the development of a refreshed strategy, a review of each objective had been carried out in order to reflect on progress and to identify any continuing gaps in the strategy. The report provided details on the objectives of the strategy alongside of an analysis of the progress made in the delivery of each objective. The full Domestic Abuse Strategy was attached as an appendix to the officer’s report.

 

In introducing the report, the Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety noted the achievements of the strategy as well as the review activity that had taken place during its implementation that would be fed into the development of the refreshed strategy. The Cabinet Member noted that a report on the commissioning of Domestic Abuse Services would be considered by Cabinet on 23 November 2020, and that members would have the opportunity to scrutinise the report and recommendations as part the pre-decision scrutiny process.

 

The Cabinet Member noted that the issue of Domestic Abuse, and in particular the issue of stalking and harassment had been a key area of enquiry for the Improving Lives Select Commission in recent times. The Cabinet Member advised that as a result of these discussions the Safer Rotherham Partnership had undertaken further work and additional monitoring with regard to stalking and harassment in cases of domestic abuse. The Cabinet Member advised that stalking and harassment was often a part of a broader pattern of abusive behaviours in cases of domestic abuse, and as such stalking and harassment had been included in the standard assessment framework and was also a key part of the safety planning work undertaken by statutory and commissioned services.

 

The Cabinet Member assured members that the protection of victims from stalking and harassment was considered in the delivery of all services that provided to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 109.

110.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 80 KB

 

To consider and approve the Commission’s Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Committee considered its Work Programme for 2020/21.

 

Resolved: -

 

1)    That the Work Programme be updated as discussed.

 

2)    That the Work Programme for 2020/21 be approved.

111.

Improving Lives Select Commission - Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 35 KB

 

To monitor the progress of recommendations made by the Improving Lives Select Commission

Minutes:

The Committee considered the outstanding actions on the Monitoring Report.

 

Resolved: - That Monitoring Report be noted.

112.

Improving Lives Select Commission - Sub and Project Group Updates pdf icon PDF 61 KB

 

For the Chair/project group leads to provide an update on the activity regarding sub and project groups of the he Improving Lives Select Commission.

Minutes:

The Chair provided a progress report on sub and project group activity.

 

Resolved: -

 

That the update be noted.

113.

Urgent Business

 

To consider any item(s) the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

114.

Date and time of the next meeting

 

The next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on Tuesday 15 December commencing at 5:30pm as a Microsoft Teams meeting.

Minutes:

Resolved: -

 

That the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on Tuesday 15 December 2020 at 5:30pm as a Microsoft Teams meeting.